July 3, 2022

A US couple set sail for the Caribbean on Tuesday. Their dream sank on Wednesday

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From Stuff

A US couple who sold everything they owned to buy a boat and sail around the Caribbean have seen their dream sink, just one day after they left port.

Tanner Broadwell, 26, and Nikki Walsh, 24, were living in Colorado when they decided the nine-to-five life wasn’t for them, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Despite having no sailing experience, they bought a 49-year-old, 28-foot sailboat for $US5000 ($NZ6891), then spent another US$5000 doing it up. Broadwell and Walsh planned to tour the Caribbean aboard their new home, which they named Lagniappe, Creole for bonus.

On Tuesday, after months of preparation, the pair set sail from Tarpon Springs, Florida, bound for Key West.

As they navigated an unfamiliar channel on Wednesday night, disaster struck: the Lagniappe collided with a submerged object.

The collision, which ripped the keel from the vessel, was so powerful that it almost sent Walsh overboard. As the Lagniappe began to take on water, the couple rushed to call for help, put on their life jackets and grabbed what they could from the cabin.

By the time a rescue vessel arrived, about an hour after the collision, the couple – and their dog, a two-year-old pug named Remy – were in the water. They managed to salvage only a small amount of cash and their social security cards.

“I sold everything I had to do this,” Broadwell told the Tampa Bay Times, “and I lost everything in a matter of 20 minutes.”

The news got worse. Broadwell and Walsh weren’t insured, and the Lagniappe was a write-off. The US Coast Guard told them they had to remove the wreck, which could cost them up to $US10,000. They have about $US90.

Still, the couple are determined to try again. They’re relying on friends and family to help them get back on their feet, but plan to buy another boat as soon as they’re able to.

“We can’t just give up on our dreams,” Walsh told the Times.


The US Coastguard has told Broadwell and Walsh that they’re responsible for removing the wreck, which could cost $US10,000.

Tanner Broadwell, 26, and Nikki Walsh, 24, sold everything they owned to buy a sailboat that sank one day after they left port.

The Lagniappe collided with a submerged object that ripped off its keel.

For more on this story go to: https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/101336404/a-us-couple-set-sail-for-the-caribbean-on-tuesday-their-dream-sank-on-wednesday

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